Best wild swimming in Wales + map [2023]

Wales may be one of the best places in the UK for wild swimming with so many different lakes, tarns, ponds, lagoons, and an impressive coastline there are endless opportunities for wild swimming!

Just make sure to grab your wetsuit and check out 8 of my favourite spots for wild swimming in Wales!

A few notes on swimming in Wales: There are plenty of wild locations to enjoy across Wales but it’s also important to recognise your own limits and stay safe. The vast majority of lagoons, waterfalls and lakes are not manned and can be a significant distance from facilities or other services, so always implement personal safety and let others know where you intend to swim.  


What is wild swimming?

Wild swimming is essentially swimming outdoors in natural spaces, such as rivers, lakes or the sea. Over the past few years, there has been a big rise in wild swimming across the country which has been put down to people seeking alternative exercise regimes, wanting to immerse themselves in the great outdoors.


Is Wild swimming safe?

Wild swimming is safe, but only if you follow guidelines, know your own ability and follow proper safety measures. Swimming, in general, is a fun activity which can be enjoyed by everyone, but outdoor swimming does have its dangers.

Over the past decade, the rivers in the UK have become cleaner than they’ve ever been due to the fantastic work agencies like The River Trust, and The Environmental Agency. It is a great time to embrace wild water swimming!

“92.4% of our bathing waters were at Good or Excellent status in 2018.  In 1995 over half would have failed.” – The Environmental Agency



Best wild swimming spots near Wales

1. Blue Lagoon, Pembrokeshire

Walk to pool: 7 minutes- 0.3 miles

Where to park:  Abereiddy Beach car park SA62 6DT

OS Grid reference: SM7954 3147

A favourite among sea swimmers and cliff jumpers the blue lagoon is a beautiful spot for a swim in the sea! The turquoise water is refreshing to say the least but those brave enough to take a dip are rewarded with a stunning view and the opportunity to climb up the black slate steps for a jump into the depths!

Credit: National Trust

2. Henrhyd Falls, Brecon Beacons

Walk to pool: 15 minutes- 0.6 miles

Where to park:  Carpark at 33 Dol Henrhyd, Coelbren, Neath SA10 9PG

OS Grid reference: SN85384 11931

One for the waterfall and batman fans! This beautiful fall was also the location chosen for the Bat cave in Christopher Nolan’s the dark knight rises- you can follow a trail leading to the exact cave from the fall. Surrounded by lush greenery and natural rock formations this spot is not to be missed! 


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Credit: Visit Monmouthshire

3. Keeper’s Pond, Blaenavon

Walk to pool: Parking next to Pond

Where to park:  Pontypool NP4 9QT

OS Grid reference: SO25448 10839

Keeper’s Pond also known as Pen-Ffordd-Goch Pond is a wonderful location for an afternoon dip or even paddle board! Located right next to a small car park it is great for those not looking to walk too far for their swim!


4. Blue Pool Bay, Gower

Walk to pool: 15-20 minutes – 1 mile

Where to park:  Llangennith, Swansea SA3 1JL

OS Grid reference: SS40943 93079

This pool may only be accessible at low tide but as long as you get your timings right you are in for a treat! This beautiful pool looks out over the secluded bay and is a great spot for wildlife watchers, with many different birds frequenting this area! 


5. Skenfrith Castle, Monmouthshire

Walk to pool: Parking is next to Castle ruins

Where to park:  Skenfrith National Trust NP7 8UH

OS Grid reference: SO45737 20295

A wild swimming experience you aren’t likely to forget, here you can swim in the shadow of a 13th century castle! There is an easy walk into the water and with plenty of space Skenfrith is perfect for an amazing swim.

Credit: Visit Monmouthshire

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6. Llyn Cau, Cadair Idris

Walk to pool: 1 hour 15 minutes – 1.5 miles

Where to park:  Dôl Idris car park Tywyn LL36 9AJ

OS Grid reference: SH7174 1237

It’s a steep 350m ascent to this glacial pool but once you arrive, you’ll find it was definitely worth it! This beautiful pool is a perfect spot to cool off after a morning hike, even if you weren’t hot when you set off, you definitely will be after the climb up here.

swimming in Lake Windermere

7. Borth Beach, Ceredigion

Walk to pool: 5 minutes – Parking next to beach

Where to park:  Cambrian Terrace Borth, Ceredigion SY24 5HU

OS Grid reference: SN6068 9006

This gorgeous 3 mile stretch of beach may not be the wildest of places, but it is perfect for a sea swim! The shallow sand banks and nice underfoot shingle surface make this beach perfect for getting in and out of the sea easily.


8. Llanberis Infinity Pool, Snowdonia

Walk to pool: 30-45 minutes 

Where to park:  Parking available alone A4086 – See OS reference below

OS Grid reference: SH62809 S6696 – Starting point for walk

A now not so secret infinity pool this swimming spot was built in 2016 by a farmer and quickly became a popular spot!

However, the exact location is still a tightly kept secret and is left to the explorer to discover, a few tips to help you though: Check Google Earth- it’s easy to spot as its shape is a quick giveaway! The power of social media is also very useful to find the exact location! Good luck! 

Credit: Daily Post Wales

Which of these wild swimming spots in Wales will you be heading to?

Other wild swimming spots in the UK

9. Burton Bradstock, Dorset

10. Llyn Cau, Snowdonia

11. Waveney River, Suffolk

12. Willen Lake, Milton Keynes

13. Tellisford, Somerset

14. Derwentwater, Keswick

15. Mermaid’s Pool, Derbyshire

16. Clevedon Marine Lake, Bristol

17. Port Meadow, Oxford

18. Pedn Vounder, Treen, West Cornwall

19. Dundas Aquaduct, Bath

20. Rydal Water, Lake District

21. Bicester Performance Lake

22. West Lydford, Somerset

23. Black Moss Pot (Langstrath)

24. Marsh Lock, Henley

25. Buttermere, Lake District


And remember if you are near the sea, you don’t need rivers and lakes and instead can do wild swimming in the ocean. You could team a swim up with coastal walks near me and spend the day by the coast.


It really is worth joining the Outdoor Swimming Society as they have 25,000 members and it’s the biggest wild swimming group in the UK and it’s free to join. 


Check out some of these books on wild swimming too, if you want to learn even more. 

  • We like Wild Swim, by Kate Rew
  • Wild Swimming by Daniel Start
  • Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches by Daniel Start
  • Wild Swimming Walks (Dartmoor and South Devon) by Sophie Pierce and Matt Newbury
  • Wild Swimming Walks (London) by Margaret Dickinson


If you on a bigger trip exploring more of Europe check out my guides to FranceGermany, Greece, IcelandItalyPortugalSpain and United Kingdom.


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